Frequently Asked Questions about the Proposed New Library

Why is a new library being proposed instead of remodeling/expanding the existing building? 

  • A majority of survey respondents indicated this was a preference. 
  • Cost comparisons show remodeling/expanding the current building would cost more money to achieve the same amount of usable space.
  • Remodeling the existing facility would require additional relocation costs and disruption to library services. 
  • A new, single story building provides long-term cost savings in the areas of staffing, maintenance and utilities. 

What are the primary disadvantages of the current building? 

  • Too many stairs and an unreliable, uncomfortably small elevator
  • Not enough space for books and DVDs
  • Only one bathroom
  • Flooding in the Children's Room
  • Lack of quiet areas 
  • No designated space for library programs or staff work areas
  • Inefficient HVAC
  • Maxed out electrical capacity 

How is this proposal different than the last?

  • This proposal is significantly smaller in both size and price. Survey results and focus group conversations show that the previous proposal was too big and too expensive for a town our size. 

          2014 vs. 2018

What will the new library offer that the new one can't? 

  • A new building will correct ALL the primary disadvantages of the current building by providing a multi-functional space for programs and community use, more room for books and DVDs, updated wiring and adequate plumbing. It will also be a single story and ADA compliant.

Where will the new library be built?

  • The building site is the vacant lot on the north side of Center Street in Douglas.
  • The lot was purchased by the Library with funds from private donors.

What will happen to the current library building? 

  • If the millage passes, ownership of the current building will revert back to the City of Douglas, which intends to preserve the building and adapt it to another public use.

Will the hours of operation change?

  • It is the goal of the board of trustees to increase hours in a new building. 

With eBooks and the internet, do we need a library?

  • The number of people who come into the Library has increased significantly over the last several years.
  • In addition to borrowing books and DVDs, people rely on the Library for free high speed internet, computer access, printing and faxing, educational programs and a quiet place to work and study.
  • In the past year, Saugatuck-Douglas District Library has seen: 
    • 56,741 visitors
    • 6,127 program attendance (205 children's programs and 91 adult programs)
    • 62,125 total checkouts
    • 15,202 WiFi sessions on personal devices
    • 6,871 computer sessions 

How will the new millage affect my taxes?

  • If the recommended bond issue is approved by voters, it would raise $4,350,000 to construct a new library.
  • .4271 mills per $1,000 of taxable value
  • Cost per household depends on the taxable value of your property. See table below.


When does the millage go into effect?

  • If the proposal is approved by voters in August, the millage will go into effect as part of the winter property tax bill, which will be sent in December 2019 and is due in February 2020.

When will the new library be built?

  • If the millage passes, construction of the new building would begin in the spring of 2019.

Why does it cost so much?

  • Libraries hold a lot of weight, so special attention must be given to the structural support system to ensure load bearing capacities and settlement are not an issue.
  • In order to create maximum flexibility for future changes, open interior spaces are a necessity. Steel and/or masonry are used to avoid the need for columns or walls.
  • The demand for computing and other electronic or digital tools is much greater than most other types of buildings. Equipment to operate and maintain these tools requires additional space, power and data.
  • Libraries are heavily used by the public, so construction and finish materials must be able to withstand constant wear and tear.

Why single story?

  • The size of the lot is adequate to accommodate all space requirements and services on one level. 
  • A single story building allows for long-term cost savings by maximizing staffing efficiency and eliminating the need for elevators and stairs.
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